I am licensed clinical social worker and a double alumna of Columbia University. I attended Columbia in the Johnson era through the auspices of the Higher Education Program. I was admitted because I showed potential and fit the economic criteria and had been educationally disadvantaged. I was a single mom raising a child who had various disabilities and let me tell you - it ain't easy.
I too, was raised very poor. Mom had cancer and was left disabled after surgery and even though my dad worked he could never make enough to get us into a larger apartment. My dad, my mom, my brother, my two sisters and me all lived together in a one bedroom apartment and it was too tight.
Poverty is not noble. Other children made fun of the holes in my shoes and my limited wardrobe. I hand washed and ironed my own clothes at seven years old because my mother could not do it. She couldn't lift her right arm even to waist level because doctors had removed all of her muscle tissue along with lymph nodes. They did their best to help my mother live. She only wanted to survive to see her children grow and take care of themselves.
My dad was part of an immigrant family. At eleven years old he was forced to go work to help support his family. All my dad and his brother wanted to do - being the natural musicians that they were - was to be in vaudeville. They got to participate but they were not permitted to live artistically and were forced to ignore that part of themselves. They were forced to help support their families.
As a humanitarian and a humanist I see that things are getting even worse in many ways now. We poison our environments and habitats and it is permitted legally for big business to survive. So mostly what needs to change is that we must be here for each other and we must do things to benefit the greater whole of humanity not private enterprise. Fracking our water supply and denying the future consequences is not good. Promoting the use of oils and other expensive methods of energy are no longer necessary. We have the technology. Now we are back to the times in my childhood when it is becoming harder and harder to survive unless people know how to connive their way through the system to get more than they are supposed to. Now, more than ever, it is becoming harder to make a living support your family and to get an apartment to live. Many adults are forced to share and rent rooms. Many families join together to share rent on one bedroom apartments to survive.
I am fortunate to have a pension that I worked hard for plus my social security. I want to make certain that the planet and our children will survive along with the planet's many other sentient beings. It is clear that society is not protecting people or our planet. Government and private enterprise are interlocked. Can you imagine all the things that would not be done if those in charge truly took care of all of us the way we deserve to be? Someone asked me if I am a communist. No I am a humanist and I love my country and want it to be better for all of us. Meanwhile 99 percent of us suffer and try to make do and survive. It is not easy for any of us. That is why I consider myself one of the 99%.
Take your time to go through the links below and bookmark the ones you like.
These 3 links below are the official “occupy” links.
This following link is to the members of the Occupy Arts and Culture section. Anyone may join.
My published poem can be found here:
Adbusters helped support and get the “occupy” movement started.
Kevin Zeese is one of the original organizers in addition to being a lawyer. His blog is an invaluable resource and almost everything you need to know can be found here.
Zeese’s listing of occupy events can be found at this link including the plan for June 2012 when all United States Occupiers will march and occupy Washington D.C:
Zeese also has a wonderful listing for media and Blogs to explore.
The site below is also a radio station and is one of the best sources of accurate information and news about occupy in addition to Zeese’s blog.
Another website new to me called velvet revolution is interesting.
More links to explore:
Call to Action for Washington D.C. 2012
The Marines are coming:
Other newspapers or sites that maintain an alternative view and support occupy:
This site below is managed by Mike Palecek. He sends out regular emails and runs a radio interview show in addition to being a publisher. His email is Mike Palecek.
More links to digest:
Below is an interesting and inspiring video. Israelis visit Syrian Border speaking out for peace ant social justice and change and peace between the two countries:
Another interesting movie available for free is “Shock Doctrine” by activist Naomi Wolf. Here is an interview with her.
The entire movie can be seen here.
For a little levity and humor - you've got to see this video with Stephen Colbert visiting Zuccotti and later interviewing two people, Justin and Ketchup, who were chosen by the press group to represent the 99 percent. You will laugh and I think being able to laugh at ourselves sometimes is necessary.
An acquaintance of mine – knowing how sensitive I am about being Jewish told me the 99% are blaming everything on the Jews on Wall Street and Bolling of Fox 5 reported this. I have suffered a great deal of prejudice about my Jewishness my entire life, starting when I was a child and other children called me “Christ killer.” Do not believe this propaganda being fed to us to keep us separate and hating one another. I researched this piece of information and discovered that Bolling from Fox 5 did try to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement as anti-Semitic.
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, responded to Bolling in the New York Times “that while there may have been incidents of anti-Semitism in the movement ‘they are not expressing or representing a larger view." Foxman stated, "the movement is not about Jews. ... It's about 'the economy, stupid.'"
Having been to Zuccotti and attended many meetings and participated in many dialogues I can honestly report and assure any of you with doubts that in the many times and hours spent with the occupy movement I never experienced any type prejudice.
I am considering doing guided tours and spoke to the person in charge at the welcome desk and they actually need someone who is familiar with the site to do this. I plan to go again to make certain I know where everything is so I can take this position.